Snow storm 28th December 2020

UPDATED @ 0750 Tuesday 29th

Final storm total at San Jacinto Peak is 17 inches of fresh, very fine, powder. An impressive 14 inches had fallen in Idyllwild by late yesterday evening.

Thanks to Florian Boyd for reporting snow down to 4800ft on Skyline (below Rescue 2). Snow level is much lower on the south face of the San Bernardino range, below 4000ft on Banning Bench, and at about that elevation on the hills around Garner Valley.

Snowshoes are recommended everywhere above 5000ft currently, and possibly lower locally.

Looking north-west from San Jacinto Peak toward the San Bernardino range, early morning, 29th December 2020.

UPDATED @ 1910 Monday 28th

It has continued to snow steadily throughout the early evening, with storm totals of 11 inches now in Idyllwild (at 5550ft), and 14 inches at San Jacinto Peak. Forecasts project several more inches are possible at all elevations above about 5000ft tonight. The next planned update will be early Tuesday morning.

UPDATED @ 1530 Monday 28th

Snowfall rates have declined at all elevations this afternoon (although light snow continues to fall), with about 11 inches total now at San Jacinto Peak (and the sun briefly putting in an appearance), and Idyllwild only adding another inch by 1430, for a storm total of 7.5″ (at 5550ft).

Weather at San Jacinto Peak at 1330 included an air temperature of 11.4°F (-11°C), with a windchill of -16.8°F (-27°C), and a bitter SW wind sustained at 26 mph gusting to 39.0 mph.

UPDATED @ 1110 Monday 28th

Idyllwild has added at least three inches so far this morning (for a storm total of about seven inches at 5550ft). San Jacinto Peak has added about four more, for a total of 8-9 inches. Radar suggests further heavy precipitation for at least the next hour.

Great friend of the Trail Report Florian Boyd reports light drizzle in Palm Springs (less than 0.2″ total). Snow is visible on Skyline down to about 6500ft (above “Flatrock”), but lower along the Desert Divide.

UPDATED @ 0930 Monday 28th

The much-anticipated third storm of the winter produced 3.75 inches of snow in Idyllwild (at 5500ft) overnight, and 4-5 inches at San Jacinto Peak.

It was snowing heavily intermittently on my hike this morning, with another two inches added in the high country already. The snow consists of extremely fine, small grains, which is consequently drifting heavily. On the Peak Trail, parts of the trail were 8-10 inches deep, even though adjacent bushes and rocks had only a couple of inches.

Although I postholed with spikes this morning, snowshoes are now recommended, at least above 8000′, and probably lower also.

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